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Full text of "Chicago race riots"

304 



Dedicated to the promotion of 

understanding and co-operation 

between the races. 




Copyrighted 1919 by 
The Great Western Publishing Company 

1237 W Madison St. 
Chicago, 111. 



Preface. 



THE agitated, throbbing, "black" heart of 
Chicago is at this date, August 1919, en- 
circled with a steely ring of bayonets and 
automatics in the hands of United States sol- 
diers and Chicago policemen. Negroes to the 
number of 200,000, conservatively estimated, re- 
side in the so-called riot zone. The military 
and police forces were placed there for the pur- 
pose of suppressing race riots that in the last 
week of July, 1919, threatened the overthrow of 
all the municipal governmental restraints that 
the city of Chicago could throw into the streets. 
The burden of this pamphlet is an earnest, 
conscientious probe of the fearful set of social 
circumstances that could make possible and let 
loose the flame of beastiliness and animalism 
that resulted in 35 officially recorded, 200 
rumored deaths and serious injuries running in- 
to the thousands. 

The author of this pamphlet is convinced 
that the cause of the race conflict in Chicago 
and elsewhere in the United States is rooted deep 
in our economic system and, while other contrib- 
uting causes are admitted, their influence on 
the actions of men and women of both races is 
so slight that they can with reason and good 
judgment practically be disregarded in a book- 
let of this size and character. 



The flaming rage of a mob, angered at the 
real or fancied outrage of some woman of their 
race by a man of another color can be analyzed, 
accounted for, understood. But the spectacle 
of a ferocious mob flowing thru the streets seek- 
ing a black or white victim, as the case may be, 
on general principles and without special pro- 
vocation is a social phenomena that demands 
profound and special study. 

Law defying bands of Whites and Blacks that 
go indiscriminately hunting and gunning for 
victims in a city where there are approximately 
250,000 Negroes, constitute a social danger 
signal which cannot and must not be ignored. 

With one tenth of our national population 
composed of black and mulatto persons the race 
problem in America is one of the most explosive 
that we have to contend with. 

This pamphlet is issued in fairness to both 
races* and is an earnest contribution to the dis- 
cussion of a vital, pressing problem that menaces 
the peace of the nation and is especially recom- 
mended to the toiling masses who bear the bur- 
dens of the world and whose faces are kept in 
the dirt by reason of division, misunderstanding 
and ignorance. 

Harrison George. 



STATEMENT OF THE 
STOCK YARDS LABOR COUNCIL 

By 
J. W. JOHNSTONE, Secretary-Treasurer. 

The Stock Yards Labor Council extends a 
fraternal welcome and an invitation to unite 
with us to each and every colored worker in the 
city of Chicago. To emphasize our goodwill we 
have granted organization privileges to our col- 
ored brothers in the past that have been denied 
white workers. Colored unionists are free to join 
white locals or organize color locals of their own. 
Newly initiated black union men may affiliate 
with the local of their craft or they may select 
the local of their choice. Colored union men are 
granted admission with right of discusion to any 
Stock Yards union. White union men are restrict- 
ed to union privileges in the local of their craft, 
must join that local and are not granted the 
right of general discussion in all locals. This is 
all done to promote fraternal fellowship and 
understanding between the races. 

We are positive that if the toilers of both 
races in the stock yards and the great industries 
of Chicago were thoroughly organized, if the 
conflict for jobs and wages were adjusted by 
this White-Black union, serious race trouble 
would be impossible. 

When this unity of purpose and organization 
on the industrial field is perfected by the work- 
ers of Chicago the vicious and successful cam- 
paigns carried on by large employers of labor in 
this city and other cities to pit and play blacks 



against whites wil be at an end and one prolific 
source of trouble eliminated. 

The desire of the organized packers is division 
in the ranks of the white and colored workers; 
the desire of all intelligent workers of both races 
is unity and organization among white and col- 
ored employes. The Stock Yards Labor Council 
knows no color line or sex, dismisses all creed 
and national distinctions and seeks to embrace 
the toiling masses from all four quarters of the 
globe in the high and noble purposes of clean- 
cut unionism. We know but one opposition and 
that consists of those industrial forces that seek 
to put too great burdens upon the backs of the 
working class, that seek to grind their faces in 
the dirt and deny them the right to live as Amer- 
icans should ; upon these and these alone we de- 
clare unending war until the toilers of every 
color and clime that are in the American melting 
pot and building this great nation shall have 
come into their own industrial freedom, indus- 
trial democracy and the control of the lives and 
destinies of themselves and their families. 



OUR REAL ENEMY. 
MARY MARCY, Author-Journalist. 

In Germany the profiteers are printing stories 
about the Jews in order to inflame the minds of 
the workers so they will forget high prices and 
the men who profit by them, and be side-tracked 
into race riots. 

Stock yards workers tell me that here in Chi- 
cago the millionaire packers are doing their best 



to promote enmity betwen the colored and the 
white workers so that when you and I grow des- 
perate over the rising cost of living we will pick 
fights with each other and spend our rage on our 
fellow workers. 

One of the methods the packers use is to pay 
the colored workers higher wages than the union 
scale. They want to keep the colored men and 
women out of the unions, so that when the white 
men go out on strike for decent living conditions 
the colored men will scab on them. Then when 
the fight against the white union men has been 
won the packers will fire the colored workers 
and take back the white ones. In other words the 
big thieves are trying to use workingmen against 
workingmen for their own profit. 

But gradually the colored folks are getting 
wise to the packers' game and are joining the 
unions. They know the packers don't care as 
much for any workingman as they do for a 
pound of farm sausage. All they want is to use 
the whites against the colored men, or the color- 
ed workers against the white men to force down 
wages. Then the packers will hire the men who 
work cheapest. 

Some unions have raised wages from 50 cents 
a day to nine dollars a day. They were able to do 
this because the Catholics and the Protestant 
workers, the Irish and the Dutch, the Jew and 
the colored workers STUCK TOGETHER; they 
all refused to scab because they knew that the 
scab ultimately lowers his own wages. 

Government reports show that the Swift 
family grabbed $47,000,000 profits last year. 
And they probably did not EARN $2,000 of it, 



while the workers in the Swift plants were only 
paid $22,000,000 in wages. The idlers got over 
twice as much as their rake-off as the workers 
who run the packing plants. The report of the 
Armour and other packing plants is nearly as 
bad. 

Don't let the packers or any other capitalists 
side-track your common sense. Don't let them 
turn you against your white or black brother 
SO THEY CAN HIRE MEN AT LOWER 
WAGES LATER ON and get still richer out 
of your abor. 

The packers cannot fool me. Whenever they 
do things that foster race riots I know they are 
like the burglar that gets his pal to throw a tin 
pan in the cellar while he ROBS THE fcAFE. 
And they can't draw my attention away from 
the millions they are taking from the people who 
work. 

When they are united the white and colored 
workers WIN : when the workers are divided 
THE BOSS WINS. Unite, join the union and 
bea: the boss! 



SHALL WE UNIONIZE? 

THE PARAMOUNT QUESTION among 

our workmen at the stock yards is whether or 
not to unionize. During the recent riots the union 
officials made stirring appeals to our stock yard 
workers with a view to inducing them to become 
members of the union. Organized labor publica- 
tions through their editorial columns voiced the 
same demands. Some of these proposals were of 



the most flattering character and should receive 
the serious consideration of our workers. 

IN YEARS PAST our attitude has been one 
of distrust and suspicion of the motives and hon- 
esty of purpose of the leaders of organized labor. 
For much of this attitude the labor leaders 
themselves are responsible. In their constitu- 
tions the word "white" stood a gigantic barrier 
to our participation with them in the labor field. 
In recent years there seems to be a growing dis- 
position to open the doors of unionism to our 
workmen, 

LEADERS LIKE KIKULSKI, Fitzpatrick 
and Johnston, in conference with leading police 
officials during the last stock yard strike, stated 
that not a single soldier or policeman would be 
required in that district to preserve order. Arid 
that organized labor would see to it that the 
black workman would be protected by his white 
associates in the ranks of organized labor. 

WHEN ALL IS SAID and done, it may be 
the part of wisdom for us to join with the white 
brother in the labor movement. Most of our 
workmen's trouble in the North is due largely to 
antagonism in the industrial field, and if these 
antagonisms can be wiped cut by our entering 
the ranks of unionism it seems the only sane and 
safe thing for us to do. At any rate, the experi- 
ment is worth a trial. To any forward-looking 
man it must be apparent that there must be a 
common destiny for workmen of all classes. For 
the good of the nation white men and black men 
must not go through the years with their hands 
at each other's throats. Something must be done 
to remove from the mind of the white laboring 



man the notion that large employers of labor 
are using us as a big stick over their heads. And 
the labor leaders must remove from our work- 
men's mind the suspicion and distrust born of 
the previous attitude of unionism toward them. 

WE CONFESS that our experience with or- 
ganized labor in this locality has not been re- 
assuring. Some years ago our waiters entered 
the labor movement by organizing a strong 
branch among themselves. They were induced 
by the leaders of the white waiters' union to 
strike against the existing scale of wages. In- 
stead of the support and co-operation which they 
expected from their white brothers, they were 
forced to see their places filled by white union 
waiters. This bit of unpleasant experience still 
sticks in our minds and is frequenty used as the 
basis of much of the opposition that exists 
among us against unionizing. 

IF THE LEADERS of the labor movement 
are anxious for our co-operation we stand ready 
to give it when we can be assured that we will 
not be deserted by our white brothers in a crisis. 
We do not relish the present situation, with its 
antagonisms and its hatreds. We stand ready on 
any tomorrow to extend the hand of fellowship 
to our white brother in the labor world, but we 
want him to come with clean hands and with the 
honest resolve to sink or swim in a common 
cause for the betterment of American laboring 
conditions, without regard to race or color. 

Chicago Defender. 



CONCERNING THE RACE RIOTS 

By the 
CHICAGO FEDERATON OF LABOR. 

The profiteering meat packers of Chicago are 
responsible for the race riots that have disgraced 
the city. 

It is the outcome of their deliberate attempt 
to disrupt the union labor movement in the 
stockyards. Their responsibility is shared by the 
daily newspapers which are kept subsidized by 
the extravagant advertising contracts of the 
packers, particularly the Tribune and the Her- 
ald and Examiner. 

The same meat packers can solve the problem 
if they will and put a stop to the trouble, but it 
can be done only in one way, if it is not to break 
out again at a future date more violently than 
before. The packers know that way. They have 
been told what it is and they are doing nothing 
about it. 

Ever since organized labor first started to 
unite the stockyards employes, the packers have 
fought with every weapon at their command 
these efforts of the workers. 

Discriminating against union men, they have 
fired them and hired nonunion men in their 
places. In recent years their principal recruit- 
ing points for nonunion workers have been in the 
south, and nonunion colored workers have beei? 
brought here in great numbers just as they are 



being brought here now by the railroads or 
were up to the outbreak of the race riots. 

These colored men and women are not 
brought here for their own improvement, but are 
enslaved at low wages and have been used by the 
pacekrs to undermine union conditions. 

Organized labor has no quarrel with the col- 
ored worker. Workers, white and black, are 
fighting the same battle. The unions met the ac- 
tion of the packers by starting to organize the 
colored workers. 

As soon as this work commenced, the packers 
started to fight the unions with foul tactics. They 
subsidized negro politicians and negro preachers 
and sent them out among the colored men and 
women to induce them not to join the unions. 
They had a Y. M. C. A. secretary on their staff, 
and the two present aldermen of the second 
ward participated actively in this campaign of 
the packers. One of them, Aid. L. B. Anderson, 
went before Attorney Francis J. Heney, repre- 
senting the workers, when he was preparing for 
his appearance before Judge Altschuler and 
urged that Heney should not ask the judge to 
order the packers to maintain a preferential 
union shop. 

Their purpose in this, which during the last 
several weeks has born bitter fruit, was to play 
upon race prejudice and create dissension 
between whites and blacks which would prevent 
the colored workers from joining the unions and 
prejudice the white workers against them for 
that reason. Notwithstanding their efforts, the 
colored workers came into the union in large 
numbers. 



Some weeks ago the unions redoubled their 
efforts to get the negroes in. Squads of union or- 
ganizers held street corner meetings as the work- 
ers left the yards. The packers called on Captain 
Caughlin of the stockyards station for mounted 
police to break up these meetings, and Captain 
Caughlin, tool of the packers, sent his bluecoats 
there to ride down the men who gathered to 
listen to the speakers. This caused a strike of 
stockyards workers until the federation officials 
and the officials of the Stockyards Labor Coun- 
cil steped in and secured the transfer of Captain 
Caughlin away from the yards and the cessation 
of this Cossack practice. 

The union planned a gigantic massmeeting 
and demonstration to take place Sunday, July 6, 
at which white and black workers were to parade 
together throughout the stockyards district and 
gather to hear speakers in a public playground. 

On the last day before this event, the pack- 
ers called upon the police and said they had in 
formation that the negroes were arming to as- ( 
sault the whites and they wanted the parade' 
permit revoked, at least they wanted the negroes 
and whites to march separately. 

Is not their purpose clear? 

Executive Board, Chicago Federation of Labor 
John Fitzpatrick, President, 
E. N. Nockels, Secretary. 



11 



The Chicago Race Riots 

THE frothy, bloody wake of the Great War 
revealed many things in our civilization 
that shook our faith in God, in Christ, and 
in the divine purpose of mankind themselves. 
Nowhere was the sickening realization that we 
are still animals more vivid and unescapable 
than in the city of Chicago during the week of 
July 28th, 1919 when the flame of racial antag- 
onism resulting from the friction of tens of 
thousands of returning white soldiers meeting 
tens of thousands of Negro workers firmly in- 
trenched in tens of thousands of jobs that the 
white soldiers and discharged civilians wanted 
and needed. The placing of millions of men in 
the forefront of the national defense and the 
unheard of industrial speed to which America 
was forced, taxed to the limit every man, woman, 
and child of working age, and every pound of 
machinery that we possessed. The Golden Age 
of industry seemed to have arrived. Unlimited 
markets, unlimited production, unlimited oppor- 
tunity for work, unheard of wages. (We are not 
discussing unheard of prices at this time.) All 
this tapped and drained the American labor res- 
ervoir in every state of the Union. The packers 
of Chicago turned their dividend-hungry eyes 
to our Southern fields where the brawny human 
workhorses of Africa were enjoying their more 

12 



or less carefree lives on the farms, plantations 
and in the small towns of the South. The lure 
of the city with its fabulous wages and the 
accompaning promises of the packers success- 
fully started the Negro exodus northward. This 
is no condemnation of the packers as such. Any 
set of men in the same circumstances would 
have done the same. 

Conservatively estimated, one hundred thous- 
and units of black blood entered the economic 
and social arteries of the commonwealth of the 
city of Chicago during this period. So long as 
the door of opportunity to work swung to in no 
man's face these white and black corpuscles cir- 
culated freely and without disturbance in the 
channels of city life and commercial intercourse. 
True, middle class respectability looked askance 
as the dark crest surged and swelled over the 
imaginary Belt line into the domain formerly 
recognized as strictly white. This resulted in 
several bombings and individual clashes, but 
if the city and country could remove the roots of 
the industrial cancer the economic and social re- 
lations of the two races would harmonize 
smoothly, naturally and the hatred between the 
two races would wither like an uprooted weed. 

A vicious trinity that is neither sensible or 
necessary and one that has reached its highest 
degree of influence for evil is unemployed man, 
the job, and the private owner of the job. When 
this nation was young and sparsely settled the 
question of the Negro exploitation and its con- 
sequent effect on Northern business made the 
fields of the South a battleground where Amer- 

13 



loans fought and died for what they thought 
was justice to the blacks and the best interests 
of the nation. That question was not properly 
settled then and it will not and cannot ever be 
properly settled while the master and servant 
relation exists in any form on the face of the 
earth. And now the nation is populous and 
the machinery of production has increased 
to the point when all work people cannot 
work all the time at the machines and con- 
sume all the produce of their labor and carry 
the load of profit, rent and interest that goes 
with private ownership and operation of the 
great industries and resources of the nation. 
The leather blacksnake whip that sang and 
writhed over the backs of the slaves of the South 
is now cunningly hidden in the refined lash of 
modern necessity that is now wielded by the 
present day representatives of the slave owners 
of the fifties but in our blindness, in our desper- 
ation as we are caught in the meshes of an 
ever tightening struggle for jobs and existence 
we, the white and black workers, see only the 
worker who is striving for the same position in 
industrial life that we are seeking and miss en- 
tirely the sinister Moloch of capital that de- 
mands the surplus of the toil of the whites and 
the blacks that would mean life, education, and 
a successful pursuit of happiness made easily 
realizable for both races in America. In a so- 
ciety where man worked for mankind and the 
mighty engines of modern industry were at the 
service of the people and not an unscrupulous 
powerful minority race riots would be ridiculous, 
unthinkable, impossible. 

14 



Theories advanced. 

POLITICS. A word made filthy and abhor- 
rent to decent Americans by the actions of poli- 
ticians and admittedly a source of much irrita- 
tion and disgust in the hearts of good men and 
women of both races. Catering for votes that 
disregards principle and puts place and the re- 
wards of position above community good is 
vicious and the human reptiles who practice it 
should be hissed from the society of clean men 
of both races. But municipal politicians juggle 
with effects only. A municipal government has 
nothing whatsoever to do with the social system, 
or the schemes of national business that sharply 
divide the classes and set them at variance. An 
exil managed city government may aggravate 
the people, the classes and the races and cause 
friction that could be avoided otherwise, but its 
influence for good or evil on the national social 
structure upon which the nation builds its des- 
tiny is nil. Given a just social system and an 
average education and the slimly things who 
have degraded the fine science of municipal po- 
litical economy would be taken by the nape of the 
neck, their spoils taken from their pockets and 
kicked beyond the limits of human society. Bad 
municipal politics aggravate tense situations 
but they never determine great policies such as 
must settle the American race question. 

The Housing Problem. 

The inflow of Southern Negroes into Chicago 
to fill the needs of the stock yards and other 
industries created a scarcity of houses in the 

15 



Black Belt that naturally forced some members 
of the colored race beyond the ^imaginary boun- 
daries that have been more or less loosely rec- 
ognized by both races. This is a community 
question that should have been met with a clean- 
cut purpose of justice to all but when the 
weights are manipulated by unscrupulous real 
estate sharks and designing preachers and poli- 
ticians the scales of decision are very much off 
their balance. But the housing problem is simp- 
ly a by-product of the underlying economic 
struggle going on between the workers of the 
races and, when aggravated, is mistaken by 
some as a material contributing cause of 
the race conflict. With the exception of some 
black upstarts who are ashamed of the>r color 
and wish to get out of any recognized zone, we 
believe that the colored population of Chicago 
want to work and pay for decent homes and is 
sufficiently self-respecting to desire to live and 
go their way in the world without intruding 
where they are not wanted and the Whites should 
show the same fine sense of social discrimination. 
The contemptible few who are not satisfied with 
the opportunities and surroundings among their 
own people will effectually be curbed by the 
Negro pride of race and pressure of public opin- 
ion. This is not a cause of race riots; it is an 
effect that is heightened by the greed of those 
who take advantage of a loose municipal situa- 
tion in order to turn a profit. The upstanding, 
self respecting Negroes want to live by them- 
selves; it is up to the city to see that they are 
fiven the opportunity. 



16 



Hoodlums. 

The hoodlum element may be reckoned with 
in any crisis but it must not be mistaken for 
the cause of any great social disturbance. The 
vicious hoodlum element can never "start" any- 
thing that even the man on the curbstone will 
stand for. Under the loosening of ordinary re- 
straints that inevitably happens when there is a 
social upheaval of any character whatsoever the 
"roughnecks" are in the streets, thickening the 
difficulties and exasperating decent people on 
both sides of any controversy, but to attribute 
to this crowd any social power or material in- 
flilence is shooting wide of the mark indeed. 

During the American, French and English 
Revolutions and the Civil War in America this 
layer of human degeneracy complicated the 
issues involved and made the task of the pro- 
gressive forces doubly hard. 

While society was shaken by the events of 
the above periods unprotected homes, inns and 
churches were sacked and the occupants and 
those in charge mistreated. But no one attempts 
to confuse the purposes of these vandals with 
the sacred purpose of these revolutions. Just 
so with Chicago. Many superficial thinkers talk 
much of "hoodlum elements of both sides" being 
to blame. Hoodlum degeneracy never precipa- 
tated a social crisis ; it simply feeds on the license 
accompanying times of great stress. 



17 



Racial Antagonisms. 

Between the White and Black races nature 
has created a physical division that possibly will 
never be bridged. Some one has said that "The 
E^ast is East and West is West and never the 
twain shall meet". With ten-fold emphasis one 
could truthfully say, White is White and Black 
is Black and never the twain shall meet. But 
that does not necessarily follow that the races 
must live at daggers drawn or with a smolder- 
ing f ued festering under a thin veneer of civilized 
hypocrisy. The savage and superstitious theory 
that the black race was cursed and put in bojid- 
age forever to the whites because poor Ham 
looked upon his father in a drunken fit has been 
the source of much pernicious thinking for cent- 
uries, and should be laughed away along with 
a lot of other sanctimonious trickery. Aside 
from the generally accepted fact that there is a 
natural aversion that makes the amalgamation 
of the races impossible and unthinkable, the re- 
sults of Black and White crossing show deter- 
ioration that, if the races were inclined to prac- 
tice it, would finally see this civilization over- 
powjj^red and swept away by a race of purer 
type. Intermarriage would result in mediocrity 
that would plunge us all into the swift down- 
ward course that leads to the extinction of all 
hybrids. 

We wish to submit here a chapter on racial 
development from the book "Mankind" by Seth 
K. Humphrey. We do not endorse every state- 
ment of Mr. Humphrey, we simply insert it here 
for the purpose of presenting an interesting 
angle of a much discussed problem. 

18 



A Study of Racial Development. 

In the Negro-White this country faces a prob- 
lem that overshadows every other in its mixed 
population. The problem is not between full 
White and full Black; the two opposites of the 
world's peoples have not enough in common on 
which to have a substantial difference. It con- 
cerns the mulatto, a being who is neither one 
nor the other, but a part of both. 

Two more diverse races were never called up- 
on to remingle their inheritances. We do not 
even know what it is a remingling, for that im- 
plies racial acquaintances in a former age. Yet 
it matters Ij'ttle whether or not White or Black 
is derived from a common ancestor; the period 
of their divergence as separate races is so lost 
.in the black recesses of time that no claim now 
to singleness of origin can soften the fact of 
their complete social estrangement. 

So distince from each other are their inheri- 
tances that never in history have full White and 
Black lived in intimate relation of equality. Yet 
within the limits of his person the Negro-White 
carifies the elements of both in the closest asso- 
ciation. We know, of course, that these elements 
hold their identity even in this strange compan- 
ionship. Black remains Black and White is still 
White. 

We call him Mulatto, but classify him in law 
and society with full-blood Negro ; here we shall 
call him Negro-White, to emphasize the fact that 
in the fundamentals of his inheritance he is truly 
a hyphenated citizen. And so absurd a misno- 
mer has the word "Negro" become that we must 
speak of the unmixed African as Black. 

19 



It ie presumable that most White stock ming- 
ling with Black is of the non-assertive, inferior 
quality which would of itself settle complacent- 
ly in any environment. The average Negro- 
White takes as easily the condition within his 
soul as the inferior Wh t ite takes the conditions 
in his neighborhood. But we know that in the 
days of slavery much of the best Southern blood 
found its way into colored veins. Those dom- 
inating, assertive traits still wander unchanged 
thru the germ-plasmic streams of many a hum- 
ble colored folk. What a chaos of emotions, 
then, must there be in the soul of him whose 
sadly rr.tfxed inheritance happens to include some 
of these passion-sown jewels of the White man! 
Is there a more excruciating intimacy than that 
of dominantly White, bred thru unnumbered 
generations to association with the best of Ary- 
an, fettered within the limits of a soul to a com- 
pany of uncomprehending Black? The Negro- 
White thus affljcted is a living protest. His is 
not the protest of the Negro no Negro protests 
his race. It is the cry of a forceful Aryanin 
soul-entanglement with an utterly strange being. 
How little do we comprehend the character ar- 
rangement of this racially perplexed individual. 
He does not even comprehend himself. When 
with quivering voice and muscles tense, he de- 
claims aga,inst the injustice done "his race", he 
falls into the common error that his race is the 
Negro. He, too, yields to general opinion and 
the law that a single line, drawn close up to full 
White, and farthest away from full Black, 
divides the two races. As a matter of fact, a 
line between Negro and Whjte would have to 

20 



thread its way thru every cell iji the Negro- 
White's body. Classification of him with either 
race is absurd, no matter at what degree of 
color the line is drawn. The Negro-White be- 
longs to neither race. He has the unchanged 
qualities of both. 

We little realize jnto what errors this class- 
ification of the Negro-White leads us. His thous- 
and acts of initiative in conforming to the Aryan 
way are impelled by his White characteristics, 
yet so accustomed are we to regard as Negro 
every person with a trace of colored blood that 
we set down these acts to the credjt or discredit 
of the Negro. 

Most of the literature and all the statistics 
covering Negro activities are worthless, since 
they deal mainly with doings of White men with 
Black inheritance. There is no initiatjve . in the 
full-blood Negro to follow the White man's way, 
however well he may be taught to do so. 

This last statement will be vigorously pro- 
tested with an array of "Negroes" who have dem- 
onstrated large capacity. But as with the In- 
dian, no negro in America can say with any de- 
gree of certainty that he i,is full-blood African. 
Continued infusion of Black into a once mixed 
line may so reduce the proportion of its White 
characteristics as to obscure them from the eye, 
but as long as any remain they are identical with 
their predecessors that first strayed over from 
the Aryan, and still effective for determining 
character, altho of less effect because of the load 
of Black. 

Now when a "Negro" attains to more than an 
average success in those matters which pertain 

21 



largely to the White man, and thru the ages be- 
yond were beyond the attainments of the Afri- 
can, it is a sensible conclusion that he is dom- 
inated by his White characteristics. Booker T. 
Washington is said to have had a remarkably 
able White father. Surely no one who has 
watched his great educational work would say 
that the Black inheritance of Booker Washing- 
ton was asserting itself. And very few colored 
people who manifest Wtyite initiative claim or 
appear to be full Black. It is just this estrange- 
ment in the flesh of White and Black that makes 
the hopelessness of any solution for the Negro- 
White problem. Nature is wise in decreeing 
sterility for the offspring of racially discordant 
matings. The offense against her cannot be 
perpetuated. She would have been more than 
kind had she put a like ban upon the evil mat- 
ings of White and Black, for that would have 
left the races virtually full White and full Black, 
with their common desire to live after its own 
fashion. Then there could have been no race 
problem. With the fall of slavery, the separa- 
tion would have been easily effected, and the 
integrity of the White race maintained. 

But nature decrees that the Aryan shall pay 
dearly for tyis forcible crossings with other peo- 
ples. That decree is written upon the vanish- 
ing ruin of every dead civilization. And so 
now in America a tenth of our population is of 
Negro blood of some degree, grafted upon us 
by the unbreakable ties of blood infusion. 

Why talk of deporting to their African home 
a people no one can separate into Black and 
White? Why talk of the Negro-White as either 

22 



Negro or White? So to the ever-increasing pro- 
portion of our inferior stocks we must add in one 
lump the mixture of ten millions. To hasten 
the day when the critical proportion of our own 
ineffectiveness shall have been attained, and we, 
too, go the way of all others 

Cause and Remedy. 

Oan the white and black workers live in 
American towns and cities and toil in the same 
industries .in peace, harmony and understand- 
ing? Shall there be segregation by law? Shall 
the increasing Black race be colonized? Shall 
we attempt the solution of the first great ques- 
tion and dispose of the second and third silly 
ones by boldly launching all the intelligence that 
the vitally interested ones of both races, the 
workers, possess in a nation-wide effort to ad- 
just our differences where the conflict is most 
bitter on the industrial field? In a word, shall 
the axe be put to the root of modern racial an- 
tagonism as it exists under the present system 
of bitter competition for jobs? 

If this pamphlet is instrumental in success- 
fully raising a general discussion of the above 
questions and results on a closer solidarity of 
the workers white and black in the unions and 
workingclass politics, it will have achieved a 
high and noble purpose. 

Were the race riots the result of dislike, or 
granting there is a physical antipathy between 
the races that raises a hopeless and impossible 
social barrier, can the races liive in industrial, 
economic and political understanding? 

We can only when the competition of the col- 

23 



ored workers in the struggle for jobs does not 
menace the economic foundation of the whate 
workers' prosperity. 

The above questions, coupled as they are with 
possibilities and realization in American cities 
and towns, challenge the attention and thought- 
ful consideration of every man and woman who 
real.izes the necessity of grappling with a prob- 
lem that looms larger with every passing year. 
And, strange as it may seem, the settlement of 
this matter depends almost wholly upon agree- 
ment and co-operation of the common people of 
both races. These questions and the satisfac- 
tory answer have roots far down in the fabric 
of our social system where the politician and 
the profiteer do not care to go. A clear under- 
standing of our difficulties and a decisive ap- 
plication of the cure can come only with a revo- 
lution in our method of thinking and in our 
race relations in every branch of industry. And 
above all we must cooly and calmly realize that 
the interests of the enemies of the toiling blacks 
and whites are promoted by just such misunder- 
standing as resulted in the race fued of July- 
August 1919. 

No permanent settlement of our present race 
troubles is worth thinking about that does not 
provide that the black worker shall enter in- 
dustry and have an honored and respected place 
there; and that he or she shall take up the re- 
sponsibilities and privileges of unionism and co- 
operative economic activity of every character. 
Exclusion of the Negro from union activity will 
be fatal to any fundamental racial progress; 
voluntary refusal on the part of the negro or the 

24 



white worker to take this forward step leaves 
both races as they are now pawns in the 
hands of the industrial kings and profiteers, to 
be played one against the other for the benefit 
of the few, 

The color line in the unions is not desired by 
intelligent union men as- this sort of policy only 
serves to create a cheap, desperate army of sub- 
missive unorganized "hands" that renders in- 
effective a general advance of labor. The unions 
everywhere, as they are doing in the stockyards 
of Chicago, should extend the right hand of wel- 
come to their fellow workers who happen to 
have a dark skin, and the colored workingman 
and woman must earnestly take up the work 
of unionizing their color. Socially choosing their 
own paths but co-operating closely on the indus- 
trial and political fields they may enjoy those 
priceless benefits of solidarity that make strong- 
ly organized men and women independent, self- 
reliant and powerful. Any proposed solution of 
the race question that does not emphsize unity 
of economic organization as its basic principle 
and industrial co-operation on the job in the 
stockyards, the factories of Chicago and in the 
mines, mills and industries of the nation is crim- 
inally shortsighted and absolutely unmindful of 
the best interests of both races. 

The Major Cause. 

The fierce and never-ending competition be- 
tween wage-workers for a place at the machines 
of industry that provide Americans with food, 
clothing and shelter puts worker against work- 
er in a never-ending struggle which at times 


25 



arouses all the best and worst there is in the 
human breast. Since the time when mankind 
wrung a living from the face of nature with their 
bare hands the fight for the necessaries of life 
has never been more intense and uncompromis- 
ing than in the normal times of competitive in- 
dustry. In tfimes of adnormal prosperity the 
harshness of the struggle vanishes and the peo- 
ple are happy, contented and peaceful ; but the 
vicious circle of profit and surplus soon slows 
down the machines and again there are more 
men than jobs. During such times unemployed 
men are apt to be intolerant of the Negro. On 
the whole the record of the colored unionist is 
good, where he has been unionized, but for rea- 
sons that can be laid to the doors of both whites 
and blacks, the great majority of Negroes have 
not assisted in the solidarity of labor by organ- 
izing. This has led to a nation-wide suspicion 
that the Negro element can be "used" in times 
of peace and especially in times of strike to 
block a strike and other efforts to advance the 
interests of labor. Tho this is not true in all 
states, there still remains the fact that but a 
small fraction of the black workers have allied 
themselves with the white workers in the strug- 
gle for the improvement of labor's lot. 

Now the white man must work at the ma- 
chine. The black man must work at the ma- 
chine. The private owners of the machines 
buy labor to operate the machines just as you, 
reader, buy bread just as cheaply as possible. 
The job question is the biggest thing that the 
white and black workers have in common and if 
there is misunderstanding, division and hatred 

26 



there these feelings will be carried into every re- 
lation where white and black must meet and 
from such seed nothing but friction and conflict 
can develop. Upon the assured right to work 
and "bring home the bacon" rests the well-being 
and happiness of every home; when this right 
is stabilized and safeguarded the current of na- 
tional industrial and social life runs deep and 
true, unmindful of the few pieces of unpleasant 
wreckage that seem unavoidable in life; but 
when the whole structure of home and working- 
class prosperity is disturbed by inability to 
work, or inability to provide the comforts of life 
with the returns of labor, then the primal law 
of self preservation asserts itself, every religious 
and civilization check is swept away and the 
modern cave-man, in tailor made clothes and 
living in flats, is again contending for his piece 
of meat and a place to hunt. 

Any discussion of causes of race conflict and 
race riots that ignores the fundamental com- 
petition for existence and does not make allow- 
ance for all the viciousness in the human nature 
that is aroused when the means of livelihood is 
threatened, misses the pivot upon which the 
whole matter of peaceable relations of the races 
swing. 

As the satellites gravitate around the sun 
and are dependant upon that great luminary 
for an existence, so do such minor matters as 
the housing problem, physical antagonism of the 
races and hoodlumism depend upon the seeth- 
ing ferment of job competition for their exis- 
tence. 

27 



The Remedy. 

There may be sneers in some quarters of an 
attempt to offer a comprehensive remedy for so 
great a problem as the American race question 
in the pages of a pamphlet of this size, scope 
and character. But with this, as with all other 
great problems, there are a few fundamental 
principles about which there are written tomes 
and tomes and stacks and stacks of tiresome 
books that merely befuddle the issue and fur- 
nish quacks and parasites with a revenue. 

The basic principle upon which all success- 
ful treatment of any disease depends is correct 
diagnosis. The symptoms must be scientifically 
correlated and the relation between cause and 
effect definitely established. 

Does the white man feel instinctive dislike 
or hatred for the Negro? It cannot be asserted 
with any regard for candor or truth that this 
is the case. In thousands of average-sized towns 
in the United States, Negroes, when in an in- 
significant minority, are cordially accepted into 
the community life far more cheerfully than 
the Mexican, the Jap, the Chinaman and half- 
breeds of various crosses. And let it be forever 
remembered that thousands of Americans died 
on the battlefields of the South for the privilege 
OF KEEPING THE BLACK PEOPLE IN 
THEIR MIDST. Of course, some one will im- 
mediately rise and say "They did not fight for 
the social pleasure of their company; they died 
for the right to exploit them as slaves." And 
that is just the meat and gist of the whole mat- 

28 



ter. So long as the economic relations between 
the races are adjusted according to the dominant 
majority opinion, there will be no race trouble 
other than that arising from the occasional rape, 
killing or such. (And in justice to the colored 
race let us admit that, including the terrible 
tragedies of slavery days, there have been hun- 
dreds of black women abused to one white wom- 
an.) It is not the presence of the Negro in any 
community that causes disturbances; it is the 
presence of the Negro in sufficient numbers to 
constitute a menace to white workers that breeds 
such riots as disgraced Chicago. Did you ever 
hear of Southern plantation owners or North- 
ern White employers rioting against Negroes? 
NOT SO THAT IT WAS NOTICEABLE. And 
every reasonable American will admit that all 
grave race crises in the United States have 
their 'origin in some violent disagreement of 
opinion as to what the economic relation of the 
Negro in American industry should be. 

These plain facts bring us to the point of 
grappling with the present day phases of the 
Negro problem. And now, as always, this prob- 
lem has its roots in industrial relations. 

The Civil War was a big riot over the Negro 
and the victory of the North settled forever the 
chattel relation of the Black to his master. But 
by destroying the chattel slave fetters that en- 
circled the Negro, by encouraging the growth 
of the race and inventing labor-saving machinery 
the former happy-go-lucky race of field work- 
ers a few thousand in number have become an 
industrial unit ten million strong that clamors 

29 



for places in modern industry AND HAS NO 
PLACE ELSE TO GO. 

And now for the remedy and its applica- 
tion. 

The Negro produces more than he consumes 
and is therefore not a parasite. The White 
worker does the same and so far their interests 
are identical. The profiteer and Big Business 
accumulate their riches by reason of the surplus 
created by the difference between what the White 
and Black workers produce and what they get. 
Right here is the basis of the poverty, ignorance 
and job competition that underlies all serious 
race antagonism. Unity here will clear the so- 
cial atmosphere as lightning clears the heavens. 
Realization that economic comradeship in the 
unions combatting parasites and exploiters as 
the common enemies of both races will mean 
the industrial and political triumph of the toil- 
ers and a social understanding whereby the races 
may live united and yet separate; and with the 
bitter misunderstanding and struggle concern- 
ing the jobs eliminated all other minor matters 
between the races will mean no more than they 
do between whites. With both races carrying 
union cards in their pockets, with a demand for 
equality of opportunity in their hearts, with 
faces set like flint against their common enemies, 
the menace of race riots, of poverty stricken 
wage slavery, of the whole bitter struggle for 
mere existence that now falls to the lot of the 
builders and toilers of America will become a 
nightmare of an ignorant barbaric past. 

30 



When the White man and the Black man 
grasp hands in the fraternal grip of industrial 
unionism and go forward in intelligent political 
action the day of beastly self-destruction and 
class fratricide will pass, and the day of an in- 
dustrially co-operating working class of both 
races which will dominate society for the good 
of all will break. 




31 



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